The social development bank for Europe
New CEB loan to SG Equipment Finance to modernise public infrastructure and support job creation in Czech Republic and Slovak Republic
20 April 2022
Prague – The Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Carlo Monticelli, and Managing Director of SG Equipment Finance Czech Republic s.r.o. (SGEF), Reinhold Knödl, today signed a €150 million loan to support job creation and small businesses throughout the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic, and to improve public infrastructure.
The loan is in line with the objectives of the Paris Alignment and will help micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to access long-term financing for their investment projects. It will also support regional and local government, mixed and private entities providing public services, mainly in the field of public transport.
“Supporting MSMEs is the bedrock of social and economic recovery,” said CEB Governor Carlo Monticelli. “We are very pleased to finance projects that aim to help small businesses thrive and allow citizens to benefit from enhanced public infrastructure and services.”
In Czech Republic and Slovak Republic, the MSME sector employs more than a half of total workforce and constitutes more than 99.9% of all private sector companies. The CEB loan is therefore expected to have a significant positive impact for employment and economic growth.
Sub-projects funded through the CEB loan will involve financing of transportation vehicles and related equipment to modernise and expand local public transportation networks in favour of local users, such as fleets of busses or trams dedicated to suburban, city and intra-city public transport.
“The cooperation with the CEB is helping us to transform the perception of SGEF as a pure equipment finance provider that is sustainably helping to improve Czech and Slovak social infrastructure,” said Managing Director of SGEF, Reinhold Knödl.
The CEB had previously signed five loans with SGEF worth a total of €500 million.
During their visit to Prague, the CEB Governor and Vice-Governor Tomaš Boček also met representatives of Československá obchodní banka, a.s. (ČSOB) to discuss a new loan worth €100 million. It is scheduled for approval in September and will support public sector investments, as well as job creation and preservation of Czech MSMEs, especially those active in green economy, innovation, research and development.
Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 42 member states. Twenty-two Central, Eastern and South Eastern European countries, forming the Bank's target countries, are listed among the member states. As a major instrument of the policy of solidarity in Europe, the Bank finances social projects by making available resources raised in conditions reflecting the quality of its rating (Aa1 with Moody's, outlook stable, AAA with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable, AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook positive and AAA* with Scope Ratings, outlook stable). It thus grants loans to its member states, and to financial institutions and local authorities in its member states for the financing of projects in the social sector, in accordance with its Articles of Agreement.